Sunday 22 October 2017 News Updated at 11:10 AM IST
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Rising up on the fashion ladder... - Deccan Herald
Rising up on the fashion ladder...
A Varsha Rao,
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Nikhil Thampi
It’s hard to believe Nikhil Thampi is only six years old in the world of fashion designing. After all, not everyone who sets foot on the shores of fashion can boast of muses like Anushka Sharma and Hrithik Roshan.

A Psychology graduate, Nikhil had no plans of getting into fashion initially. But when a friend asked him to help set up her fashion career, Nikhil was completely fascinated with all things fashion. He decided to give it a chance and applied to Lakme’s GenNext Designers in 2011. There has been no looking back since then.

Nikhil’s designs are all about the fit, the cut and the flair! Not to mention, they flaunt a strong sense of uniqueness that stands out on ramps and red carpets alike. His flattering designs have been endorsed by many celebrities including Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Kajol, Nargis Fakhri and more. What more, his label, 'Nikhil Thampi’, is highly popular, especially among young women.

This young designer doesn’t like to follow trends and believes in fashion that’s both trendy and comfortable. Be it his beautifully structured lehengas, or form-fitting gowns, or fluid swimsuits, every design of Nikhil is a celebration of the human body. Nikhil recently ventured into the space of menswear and it was endorsed by none other than Hrithik Roshan himself.

With absolutely no formal training in designing, Nikhil has learnt everything on the go. His fans know he is quite fascinated with metal chips and includes them in most of his designs, albeit in the most form-flattering way.

Here are excerpts from an interaction:

How has your journey in the world of fashion been till date?

My journey in the last six years has been nothing short of amazing! It’s like a dream that I do not wish to wake up from. It started as a hobby, and I was initially doing it to satisfy my creative itch. I then applied to Lakme’s GenNext, and out of 800 global applicants, only eight were chosen, and I was one of them. That really did set off my career graph, and it is still ascending.

Was fashion something that you always wanted to do? What does it mean to you today?

I was always interested in the Arts and dabbled in a lot of different forms; from dance to photography; from interiors to fashion. Fashion obviously caught on real fast and the fact that the results were so instant excited me the most. Today, I live and breathe fashion. I don’t think I can go back to doing anything else now.

You are someone who has made a name as a designer without any formal training. Do you think formal training is necessary to be a designer of repute today?

Education in any form is always a boon. Having said that, it is really exciting for me because I get to learn something new every day at work. I go to fabric vendors and understand fabrics, interact with karigars and tailors to understand their techniques because I don’t know the rules. It’s fun to break them in order to carve a path of my own. It surely keeps work enjoyable, challenging and exciting.

What are your favourite fabrics to work with?

I love my silks; it’s the most luxurious fabric. Besides that, I work a lot with a particular imported polyester blend, which is a dream fabric to work with.

What would you say is the USP of your designs?

The fit, cut and an original voice, which a lot of designs lack nowadays.

According to you, what are the top five mistakes people commit when it comes to fashion?

• Blindly follow trends

• Trying to fit in inappropriate sizes

• Overdressing

• Abusing prints

• Wearing tall heels but not being able to walk in them

Is there something called 'Indian Fashion’? If so, how would you define it?

'Indian Fashion’ is largely perceived as festive or wedding wear.

A lot of emphasis is being placed on traditional Indian fabrics, textiles and weaves today. What’s your take on it?

Although I am all for Indian textiles and fabrics, I fail to understand why the silhouettes and shapes are always so boring. One can wear Indian textiles in a cool and fashionable way. Designers who work with Indian textiles should probably take cooler silhouettes and styles into consideration.

Do you believe India has made its mark globally, fashion-wise?

No, there is a lot more India can offer.

Who do you aspire to design today? Any favourites?

• Kareena Kapoor

• Aishwarya Rai

• Charlize Theron

• Beyonce

• Rihanna

According to you, what are the five things every woman should own in her wardrobe?

• Boyfriend’s white shirt

• Indigo denims

• A pair of nude heels

• Gold hoop earrings

• Chanel No.5

What’s trending right now in the world of fashion?

Athleisure .